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Rushden Echo, 1st April 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins
Mr John Tobias Lovell
A Rushden Postman’s Retirement
Presentations by his Fellow Workers – Interview by “The Rushden Echo”

We wonder how many of our readers have noticed the absence from duty since Tuesday of Mr John Tobias Lovell, the well-known Rushden Postman? Not many, perhaps, and thus it is only fitting that we, as the only newspaper printed and published in Rushden, should draw attention to the fact that on Tuesday Mr Lovell retired at the end of nearly 32 years service with the Post Office. In doing so we should like to congratulate Mr Lovell upon his long term of public work and to wish him well in his hard-earned retirement.

On Tuesday afternoon a representation of The Rushden Echo called at the home of Mr Lovell, 34 Harborough-road, to find that Mr Lovell was already enjoying his retirement by a smoke at the side of the fire. Mr Lovell guessed what our representative was there for, and offered the explanation that, although he had really delivered his last letter, his retirement did not officially begin until Sunday, for he had four days’ holiday due to him. By coincidence, Mr Lovell reaches his 60th birthday on Sunday.

Mr Lovell told our representative that he had been a postman in Rushden for 32 years, for 27 of which he was what is officially known as “established.”

He commenced when he was 27, having been in the Army for eight years previous to that. At that time there were only four “established” postmen in Rushden, and Mr Lovell was on of two “unestablished” men taken on then. His first day’s delivery was in the Wellingborough-road district, and he said that at the time the Windmill Estate was being built. The members of the Rushden Urban Council might take a hint from one remark made by Mr Lovell, this being that when he first started the Windmill Estate was something like Prospect-avenue is now!

In answer to a question, Mr Lovell said that Rushden had very much changed since he had been a postman, but he had

Always Met with Friendliness

from the residents. Older residents of the town will remember the site of the old post office, farther along High-street, which is now occupied by Miss Mobbs, and Mr Lovell said that that was the office when he commenced his duties.

“It was a seven-days week,” said Mr Lovell, “and we had to fetch the mail from Higham Post Office.”

In those days, Mr Lovell further explained, the old horse-’bus used to bring the mail from the L.N.W. railway station to Higham, and, as the mail was in one bag, the Higham and Rushden mail had to be sorted.

“How many miles do you estimate you have covered?” our representative asked, and Mr Lovell had to confess he had no idea. Similarly, he had no notion of how many letters he had delivered altogether, but he said he delivered about 400 a day.

In 1900 Mr Lovell went to the South African War and was there two years, and he is the proud possessor of the King’s Medal and the Queen’s Medal of that war. Mr Lovell married 15 months prior to his going to the war.

Reverting to his career as a postman, Mr Lovell laughed when asked if he had even been molested in any way during his deliveries. “No,” he said, “Rushden’s a quiet place. I never worried about that.” During the time he had been a postman Mr Lovell has served under three postmasters, Mr Hewitt, Mr Field, and Mr Keeling (who removed from Rushden a month or so ago).

On Tuesday Mr Lovell was presented with a handsome oak armchair and a pipe (both of which he will no doubt find of great comfort in his retirement) by the staff of the Rushden post office, and he was the recipient of many good wishes from his colleagues.

Our readers will join with us in wishing Mr Lovell every prosperity in his retirement and in the hope that the good health he has enjoyed in his duties will be continued in his rest.

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